I’m either the luckiest dog parent on earth or I’ve stumbled across one of the biggest dreams of every dog parent—ridding the dogs of all door dashing.
I think the secret comes from the Wizard of Oz: There’s no place like home.
And the secret to making home that special, magical place? Mindfulness.
What else could stop a pit bull charging toward the open front door, hell bent for whoever rang the doorbell? And when the gusting wind blew open the gate again – unbeknownst to me, who let Rico and Roxy out for their last break before bedtime – why didn’t they dash out into the vast unknown?
Heck, the front door hung wide open to air the house out after a disastrous experiment with the self-cleaning function on the oven. The dogs seemed curious as to why the door was opened, but didn’t hesitate to step away when called.
I might be the luckiest dog parent. But I actually think I’m one of the most fun.
With Rico and Roxy, I’ve learned I don’t have to spend a lot of time with them. I just have to make the time I do spend with them count.
That’s where mindfulness comes into play.
Because a butt scratch isn’t a butt scratch if the scratcher is preoccupied with a crappy work day. A butt scratch with eye contact and a sweet word here and there makes all the difference. (Yeah, I’m aware of how disturbing that might sound, but if you’re a pet parent, you know exactly what I mean and if you’re not, I probably lost you at “The Secret to Stopping Door Dashing Dogs.”)
So every interaction I have with them is an interaction with them. Not with them and whatever typically negative commotion swirls around my overactive brain.
Maybe Rico and Roxy realize they’ll never get the same daily level of affection out there somewhere. No need to dash out the door when there’s no place like home.